China’s “Social Credit System” Has Caused More Than Just Public Shaming

China is testing a new plan to urge its citizens to do more good and be more trustworthy – the Social Credit System. It’s kind of like the American credit score, except it tracks far more than financial transactions. It tracks good — and bad — deeds.

Part of the system is a neighbor watch program that’s being piloted across the country where designated watchers are paid to record people’s behaviors that factor into their social credit score. A high score could bring you lower interest loans and discounted rent and utility bills, but if your score is low, you can be subjected to public shaming or even banned from certain kinds of travel, life gets hard.